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Don’t Risk It on 4/20: Plan for a Sober Driver

If You Feel Different, You Drive Different

Providence, RI:  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Providence Police Department, and other state and local law enforcement agencies,to urge drivers to stay sober behind the wheel. Saturday, April 20, 2024, marks the unofficial marijuana “holiday,” and there will likely be an increase in marijuana use. Marijuana laws are in place across the country and drug use behind the wheel is on the rise.  Impaired driving is illegal and deadly and this campaign serves as a reminder to all drivers:  If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.

We are asking our community to use their best judgement, obey the law, and make safe choices when driving a vehicle. Your decisions don’t just affect you — they affect everyone on the road.

It has been proven that marijuana and other drugs can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it difficult for drivers to maintain a steady position within their lane of travel. Whether legally prescribed, over the counter or illegal, drug-impaired driving poses a threat to everyone on the road.

Individuals who use marijuana on 4/20 (or any day) should not drive. If you find yourself impaired before operating a motor vehicle, give your keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home or to a safe place. Remind your friends to never get in a vehicle with an impaired driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive while high, take the keys away and help them get home safely, they will thank you later.

There are many options to help impaired drivers return home safely. If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911 from a safe location.

By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join NHTSA in sharing the lifesaving message, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. For more information on impaired driving, please visit

Providence man indicted for 1999 cold case murder

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez Jr. and Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been charged with murder in a decades old cold case, stemming from the strangling death of Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman in 1999.

On April 12, 2024, the Providence County Grand Jury returned a secret indictment charging Kevin Williams (age 53/ P1-2024-1206A) with the murder of Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman. The indictment was sealed, and a warrant was issued for the defendant. On April 16, Providence Police Detectives located the defendant on Rhodes Street in Providence where he was apprehended without incident. The defendant was arraigned on April 17, 2024, in Providence County Superior Court, where the indictment was unsealed.

It is alleged that sometime on March 11, 1999, the defendant strangled 41-year-old Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman behind Roger Williams Middle School. Early in their investigation, Providence Police Detectives developed the defendant as a suspect, but were unable to develop sufficient evidence to charge him at the time.

In recent years, Detective Angelo Avant approached the case again – examining evidence, re-interviewing witnesses and developing new witnesses with prosecutors. Through Detective Avant’s efforts, prosecutors presented new information to the Providence County Grand Jury, leading to his indictment.

“I commend the outstanding work conducted by Providence Police Detectives into this cold case investigation and holding the defendant accountable for this violent criminal act,” said Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “I thank Detective Angelo Avant for leading this tedious investigation and also Assistant Attorney General Jim Baum for his support and ongoing commitment to public safety.”

“The passage of time does little to lessen the pain felt by those who have lost a loved one at the hands of another, particularly when such crimes go unsolved for many years,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Remarkably, 25 years have passed between the day Kathleen O’Dowd Boleman was murdered and this indictment. Today marks a major step towards obtaining justice for the victim and her family. I am grateful to the Providence Police Department and Detective Avant, whose persistence and diligent efforts, in partnership with this Office, have brought us to this place today.”

Following his arraignment in Superior Court, the defendant was also charged in Sixth Division Court in Providence with violating a domestic no-contact order that was issued in a pending domestic violence case (P2-2023-3408ADV).

The defendant is currently being held without bail and is scheduled for a determination of attorney hearing on April 24, 2024.

Detective Angelo Avant of the Providence Police Department and Assistant Attorney General James R. Baum and Special Assistant Attorney General Ariel Pittner are leading the investigation and prosecution of the case.

Mayor Smiley and Mayor Hopkins Announce the Donation of ATVs to the Dominican Republic

Collaboration between Providence, Cranston and the local nonprofit Lights and Sirens Donates 21 Vehicles to the Dominican Republic National Police  

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Brett P. Smiley will today join Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, Councilman John Goncalves, Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr., Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Director of International Affairs for the Dominican Republic Coronel Roberto Lerebours and President of Lights & Sirens International, Ibn-Hashim Bakari to announce the donation of 16 ATVs and other off-road vehicles to the Dominican Republic. This collaborative initiative between Providence, Cranston and Lights & Sirens International will repurpose ATVs and dirt bikes seized by the police departments from both cities and repurpose them for use by the Dominican Republic National Police. 

“I am thrilled that we were able to partner with Cranston and Lights & Sirens International to find a positive, productive use for these vehicles that for too long were a danger to our neighbors,” said Mayor Brett Smiley. “Through this partnership between our local and international law enforcement partners, we are enhancing the safety and quality of life for each of our communities.” 

“Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes have not only been a nuisance but also a major public safety hazard in Providence,” said Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1). “This partnership, with the help of Lights & Sirens International, turns a negative into a positive. We are grateful for this partnership with the Dominican Republic National Police Department and their ability to utilize these vehicles to better serve the community there.”   

One of the goals of this collaborative initiative is to highlight the importance of the partnership between public safety officials and the communities that they serve. Lights & Sirens International is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reshaping the narrative and perception of public safety and community relations.   

“I commend the women and men of the Providence Police Department for their ongoing commitment to removing off road vehicles from our streets, which create a significant threat to public safety throughout our neighborhoods,” said Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “I thank Mayor Smiley, the City of Cranston, the Cranston Police Department, the Dominican Republic National Police and Ibn Bakari of Lights & Sirens International for spearheading this initiative.  We have the utmost gratitude for the work that they do within Providence and beyond.”   

“The Cranston Police Department remains committed to safety on our roads and ensuring our residents can peacefully enjoy living in the city. Illegal operation of ATVs and dirt bikes is dangerous and disturbs the sanctity of our neighborhoods,” said Colonel Michael J. Winquist. “With the warmer weather upon us, our Officers will have zero tolerance for this activity. I am pleased that the vehicles we seized through the legal process will be put to good use by our law enforcement partners in the Dominican Republic.”   

The seized vehicles will be secured onto a transport hauler today in preparation for delivery to the Dominican Republic. In total, Providence is donating four ATVs, twelve dirt bikes and Cranston is donating five ATVs. 

“Empowering our global community through innovation and collaboration, Lights & Sirens International, alongside the City of Providence, Providence Police, City of Cranston and Cranston Police Department is honored to donate ATVs and dirt bikes to the Dominican Republic National Police, enhancing their capabilities in service and safety for all.” said Ibn- Hashim Bakari, President, Lights & Sirens International. 

“We gratefully acknowledge the generous donation of ATVs and Dirt Bikes from Lights & Sirens International, in partnership with the City of Providence, Providence Police Department, City of Cranston, and Cranston Police Department,” said Cranston Chief of Police Major General Ramon Guzman Peralta. “This contribution will bolster our law enforcement efforts, enabling us to better serve and protect our communities.Together, we are stronger.” 

WHO: Mayor Brett Smiley, Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr., Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Director of International Affairs for the Dominican Republic, Coronel Roberto Lerebours, Ibn-Hashim Bakari, President, Lights & Sirens International, Providence community members 

WHAT: Announcement of Collaborative Initiative to donate 16 ATVs to the Dominican Republic 

WHERE: Providence Public Safety Complex, 325 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903 

WHEN: Thursday, March 28, 2024, at 3:15PM 

Mayor Smiley, Colonel Perez dedicate Public Safety Complex Auditorium in honor of Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., the 37th Chief of the Providence Police Department  

Providence, RI: Mayor Brett P. Smiley, Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. and City Council President Rachel Miller will join together with members of the police department, community and family and friends, to celebrate the legacy of Retired Chief of Police, Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. at a dedication ceremony of the Providence Public Safety Complex Auditorium.  The ceremony will be held on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. Colonel Clements selflessly served the City of Providence for nearly 40 years, before his retirement on January 27, 2023, to join the Department of Justice as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). 

“Colonel Clements displayed unparalleled commitment to the Providence Police Department and the City of Providence for nearly four decades,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “Hugh’s dedication, leadership and integrity exemplify the core pillars of the Providence Police Department. The impact he had on this department will continue to live on through the women and men who serve our city each day.” 

“Chief Clements is a selfless leader who represented our city and police department with respect and dignity for 37 years,” said Council President Rachel Miller. “Hugh never strayed far from his roots as a patrol officer, where each shift starts in the public safety auditorium for roll call and a briefing of what officers could expect that day or night. It’s fitting the City Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution naming the auditorium after Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. I hope current and future officers draw inspiration from this name and the remarkable example of excellence Chief Clements has set.”   

“Hugh served with excellence and embodied the true meaning of the words Providence’s Finest,” said Colonel Oscar Perez. “Under his leadership, his commitment to building trust within the community was unwavering and, through his efforts, relationships were established, and initiatives were created to bridge the gap between cops and citizens they serve. It was an honor to work alongside Colonel Clements for a number of years and there is no one is more deserving to receive this distinguished recognition.”  

“I am truly humbled and enormously grateful for this recognition.  This was more than a job – it was an honor to serve the people of Providence said Hugh T. Clements, Jr. “But no one person can do this work alone; and this is a testament to the partnerships we had and the tremendous work we accomplished together.”  

Colonel Clements began his distinguished public safety career in 1985 as a night Patrol Officer in the Providence Police Department Uniform Division. Over the next 26 years, he rose through the ranks, working in both the Special Investigations Bureau and the Detective Bureau, where he played active roles in several major investigations. He later served as Deputy Chief and was appointed as Acting Chief of Police in July 2011, and on Jan. 6, 2012, he was appointed as the 37th Chief of the Department and promoted to the rank of Colonel. 

He has worked closely with major law enforcement, civil rights, and community organizations. He is the recipient of numerous commendations for outstanding police work and devotion to duty, including being recognized with the Providence Police Department Chief’s Award three times and the White House Champions of Change Award for Reducing Drug Use and Building a Healthier America. 

Colonel Clements received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Roger Williams University. He holds a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Boston University. He attended many specialty schools throughout his career, including the New York State Police Williams Homicide School, the Illinois State Police Supervisor’s School, and the ATF National Gang School in California, and in 2005 he graduated from the Senior Management Institute for Police put on by the Harvard Kennedy School at Boston University. 

WHO: Mayor Brett P. Smiley, Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr., City Council President Rachel Miller, Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr, Members of the Providence Police Department, Providence community members 

WHAT: Public Safety Complex Auditorium in honor of Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr 

WHERE: Providence Public Safety Complex, 325 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903 

WHEN: Friday, March 1, 2024, at 11:00AM 

Mayor, Colonel announce outcome of Providence Police investigations into Narcotics distribution

Mayor Smiley and Colonel Perez announce the apprehension of ten individuals and seizure of over $1 Million as a result of investigations into narcotics distribution throughout the City

Providence, RI: Over the past several weeks, members of the Providence Police Department Narcotics Bureau and Intelligence and Organized Crime Bureau have conducted numerous investigations into individuals involved in illegal narcotics distribution throughout the City.

Through these investigations, search warrants were obtained and executed by the Narcotics Bureau on Orms Street, Ohio Avenue, March Street, Prudence Avenue, Ledge Street, Waverly Street and Colfax Street. In addition, the Intelligence and Organize Crime Bureau conducted search warrants on Superior Street and Winthrop Avenue. Since the onset of these investigations, ten individuals have been apprehended by police, 14 firearms, various narcotics, four vehicles, a ballistic vest and jewelry were also seized. Although these investigations are not connected, they resulted in police seizing approximately $1.2 Million combined. Investigation into these cases are ongoing and additional arrests may be forthcoming.

“I commend Major David Lapatin for his leadership within the Investigative Division as well as Lieutenant David Allen and Sergeant Sean Lafferty who oversee the Narcotics and Intelligence Bureaus,” said Colonel Perez. “Investigations such as these serve as examples of the work that the men and women of the PPD do each and every day. The two specialized units who worked these investigations deserve recognition for a tremendous job and outcome, apprehending ten subjects over the past two weeks and seizing 14 of the 25 firearms seized so far this year.”

Subjects apprehended:

  • Jhonmar Roman, age 30 (Superior Street)
  • Moises Medina Lopez, age 30 and Jender Tirado, age 31 (Colfax/Waverly Streets)
  • Angel Peguero, age 28 and Yaslin Rosa, age 25 (Ledge Street)
  • Pablo Floran, age 35 (Prudence Avenue)
  • Jeuris Noboa, age 24 (March Street)
  • Jose Reyes, age 58 (Winthrop Avenue)
  • Kyle Correia, age 24 (Ohio Ave)
  • Lewaun Harley, age 47 (Orms Street)

Mayor Brett P. Smiley and Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. announce $2.5 Million Hiring Grant and $220,000 Training Grant from the US Department of Justice

Providence, RI – Mayor Smiley and Colonel Perez today announced the Providence Police Department is the recipient of a $2.5 Million Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring Program Grant from the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) intended to hire additional officers. This award is one of the largest awards in the country, and is further supplemented by a $220,000 COPS Community Policing Development (CPD) Grant that will provide officers with de-escalation training and further strengthen Providence’s commitment to building strong relationships within the community.

“Building stronger community relations is at the core of our efforts to improve our local public safety,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “Our residents have repeatedly expressed wanting to feel safer in their neighborhoods and through this grant, we will be able to hire more officers that can be present and visible in our streets. I want to thank the COPS Office for recognizing Providence as a leader in excellent community relations and investing in our efforts to build an even stronger department.”

The COPS Hiring Program (CHP) grant advances the practice of community policing through hiring or rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers. The $2.5 million in funding will be used to hire an additional 20 police officers. This is in addition to the 40 officers that Mayor Smiley worked to include in the FY24 budget and that will be a part of the 72nd Police Training Academy. This grant provides 75 percent funding for three years of entry-level salaries and benefits, and can only be applied to newly hired, full time sworn officer positions.

“The Providence Police Department is dedicated to serving the citizens of Providence to the best of our ability. A critical part of that work is ensuring our officers are developing skills to avoid confrontation, utilizing de-escalation methods or distraction techniques as often as possible, and helping our officers quickly resolve conflicts when responding to calls,” said Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr.  “We are thankful to the COPS Office for providing the Providence Police Department with this funding that will assist to fulfill the necessary staffing levels and gain further resources to keep our community safe.”

The $220,000 COPS Community Policing Development (CPD) Grant funding will be used to create a larger de-escalation training program within the department.  In furtherance of this goal, the PPD will incorporate scenario-based training focusing on de-escalation, implicit bias, and duty to intervene. The PPD will utilize the VirTra virtual reality equipment that has the capability to provide training scenarios in these topics and procure a new service contract with VirTra to enhance current software. Funding will be used to pay overtime compensation at an eight (8) hour interval for officers to complete this training. This grant will ensure officers are able to participate in the trainings without disrupting daily operational staffing during assigned shifts. 

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